Luther Olsen was recently at a Fund Raiser where he heaped much praise on Rol Church.
“We also have a treat today,” Olsen said, saying his supporters were going to “meet someone today that you are going to remember.”
“There’s a guy who knows who he is,” he continued. “He is not afraid to put his name on the line, and he is a true, solid Republican. The guy sitting over there with the big hat is Rol Church.”
Church, a Republican activist, was then greeted with applause.
For those who do not know who “Rol Church” is, he is one of the \"Fake Democrats\" who forced a democratic primary , in these recall elections. That little “trick” cost the Taxpayers of Wisconsin approximately $500,000. While running a group of “fake democrats” in the primary was not only costly it was controversial. Luther Olsen knows this so he took a stand:
Sen. Luther Olsen made it abundantly clear that he was not supportive of the plan to run fake Democratic candidates in the recall elections.
He said he wasn’t even aware of the plan to field a faux Democrat against his challenger, Rep. Fred Clark of Baraboo.
At least that has been his stance in public.
But at a Tuesday fund-raiser, Olsen had nothing but kind words for Rol Church, the Republican who ran as a Democrat against Clark in the July primary. Clark won the contest.
Except Olsen did not make it abundantly clear to Senate Majority leader Scott Fitzgerald, who made it abundantly clear that this plan had been in the work for weeks. Fitzgerald also made it abundantly clear that ALL of the republican recall Senators, knew about this and were \"on board\".
Fitzgerald said all six Republicans facing recalls knew about the plan. That differs from statements by Republican Sens. Randy Hopper of Fond du Lac and Luther Olsen of Ripon that they were not informed of it. Jennifer Harrington, the campaign manager for Sen. Dan Kapanke (R-La Crosse), has said she did not know of the plan.
“All of them were aware that this was taking place,” Fitzgerald said. “Some were questioning the angles on it.”
He said it was discussed at the state Republican convention in Wisconsin Dells in May.
After Fitzgerald made his comments, Olsen continued to insist he had no knowledge of the plan. Asked if he was sure he didn’t know about it, he said: “Unless I wasn’t paying attention, but I’m sure I was paying attention.”
After getting taped complimenting Church, Olsen (via spokespiece Jeff Weigand) went on the defensive again.
Jeff Weigand, campaign manager for Olsen, confirmed the accuracy of the recording provided No Quarter by a Democrat who slipped into the fund-raiser. The source asked that her name not be used.
But Weigand said the recording didn’t capture all of Olsen’s remarks. Immediately after the applause for Church, Weigand said, Olsen repeated that he didn’t like the idea of running fake Democrats but commended Church for sticking his neck out for the party.
“I’m not lying when I tell you that,” Weigand said.
The Democrat who recorded Olsen’s remarks disputed Weigand’s recollection.
“If he said that, I missed it,” she said. “And I was paying close attention.”
While I was always told to be careful when someone says – I’m not lying when I tell you that, I thought I would call and get clarification on the disconnect between Olsen’s story and Senate Majority Leader Fitzgeralds.
Jeff Weigand(campaign manager for Luther Olsen) (full disclosure Weigand also serves on the Village Board of my Village): Hello this is Jeff
Blogging Blue: Hello Jeff, this is Jeff Simpson with BloggingBlue.com
Jeff Weigand: Click……………………………………………
So Mr. Weigand apparantly was not in the question answering mood. To be fair, i did call Senator Fitzgerald’s office also, and was unable to connect(but I will try again today and update the story when I do).